Metal fabrication does not lack for depth as an industry. No fewer than 6 distinct — and commonly used — techniques exist for the manufacture of metal pieces and parts in 2018. Each can be considered the “best” option given certain conditions. For this reason, it’s often tough for an organization looking to outsource a specific production run of components to decide just which method is right for them. The list of options is long, and it’s growing more nuanced by the day.
At least 6 common metal production processes are available to manufacturers today, including sintering, casting (sand, investment, die), machining, metal injection molding, and 3D metal printing.
Segments of the sector are undergoing a period of rapid change. Metal additive manufacturing (AM, or 3D Printing) is reshaping widely held notions of what’s possible, both its direct use in parts-production and its usefulness in combined processes, such as hybrid investment casting.